Ennis Carpets u19 League Semi Final
Shannon Town 3-2 Bridge United
Shannon Town claimed their place in the u19 League Final with a 3-2 win over Bridge United at The Cragg on Wednesday evening.
With both teams out warming up early you could see the eagerness and youthful exuberance evident from the start.
When the much anticipated first whistle blew it was Shannon Town that unloaded the early pressure, two corners and a couple of deep free kicks caused momentary pandemonium in the Bridge 18 yard box.
The game settled after 7 or 8mins of play and Bridge gathered composure and began to make steady inroads on the possession stakes. Chances were limited for either sides with Cian Fawl equal to anything that was thrown at him.
Neither side created a whole pile in the final third and were reduced to speculative long balls for much of the opening 45mins.
It was just shy of the half hour mark when a long diagonal ball over the top of the Bridge rearguard saw Charlie Morrison bundled over for a penalty, a rare laspe in concentration for Cian Fawl.
Jack Ryan stepped up and slotted low in to the corner to give Town the lead.
Little more than 2 minutes later and Ryan was placing the ball on the penalty spot again, this time a cross was deemed to have hit a Bridge hand and Referee Trevor White pointed to the spot.
Opposite corner this time and Town lead 2 nil.
In truth this rocked the Bridge for 10mins, a game they were well in and 3minutes later found themselves 2 nil down. A glorious chance presented itself at the back post from a corner kick but Bridge failed to convert, the signs were ominous.
Deep in to first half stoppage time, a Town counter attack was halted just shy of the Bridge box and the resulting free kick was duly dispatched to the far corner for Ryan's hatrick.
The Bridge slumped off at half time fearing the worst and a mountain to climb.
Whatever Ruairi Price said at half time seemed to work and coupled with a change of shape saw his troops pull a deserved goal back on 52mins when Drew Deegan forced home a header from a Adam Murphy-Black corner.
Bridge owned the football for the second half, Town scantily had a shot on the Bridge goal, bar the odd foray late in the 90.
Chances were still limited and when Bridge did causes problems found Casey in the Town goal in good form.
The best chance fell to Jack O'Halloran, a chance he created all by himself, skipping past the would be challenges of lads 3 years his senior, his effort rolling agonisingly the wrong side of the post.
The introduction of Ryan Perez saw the young Winger head home our second with less than 10mins to go. The Town defence stood strong and saw out the win despite Bridge's best effort at salvaging a draw.
Bridge can hold their heads up high, a tremendous effort for such a young side. 19 players togged out last night and all but 3 underage again next year. We even saw 2 u16s play their part, Jack O'Halloran and Eamon Breen.
It's unfair to single out any particular player for praise when the effort was truly a team one, no faulting the effort over the 90mins.
We wish Shannon Town the best of luck as they face Tulla United who overcame a fancied Ennis Town side 4-2.